First, let's try to understand what a rattlesnake is thinking when he invades your home territory.

In the spring, rattlesnakes start becoming active when the temperature hits 65-68 degrees for a couple of days. This brings them out of hibernation.

A rattlesnake's preferred temperature is 82 degrees. Colder than that and the rattlesnake will seek warmth in any shape or form. A tin can left out in the sun; metal garbage-can reflections; the street or sidewalk in the afternoon. Warmer than that and rattlesnakes will look for cool shade: piles of wood; under bushes; under clothes or tarps laying on the ground; around your pet's water bowl.

The other driving force that might make a rattlesnake take up residence in and around your home is a food source. Do you have mice, gophers, rats in your yard? Is the dog's water bowl outside and filled with water on a hot day?

There ARE things you can do around your home to make your house and yard as inhospitable as you can for the rattlesnakes in your area

Things You Will Need

Ability to recognize a rattler by site or sound

Step 1

In the spring, remove things that draw heat. If you have metal garbage cans, place them up higher, covering them with something to shade them.Those metal cans can generate heat that a rattlesnake is seeking!

Rattlesnakes are also hungry in the spring, so if you have a rodent problem, you'll need to address that and remove the food source. Buy poison pellets, stick out glue traps, etc.

Step 2

In the summer, snakes are wanting a place to get out of the sun. Remove wood piles close to home. If you must keep the wood or debris pile, place it up higher, i.e. make a platform and get it as far from the house as you can. Rattlesnakes LOVE to hide under a fallen piece of wood laying on the ground, so be careful when picking up your scraps...

Step 3

Snakes love to hide under bushes. Their favorite bushes are sage, mesquite, and chaparral. If you don't need the bush, remove it. If you like the bush, trim them off the ground by removing the lower branches. The less places they can hide from human and pet view, the better.

Step 4

Snakes lay eggs in compost piles. Move all compost piles away from the home and if you have general yard debris, clean it up. If leaves are falling, blow them as far away from your house as is possible. Better yet, pick them up and dump them in the trash.

Step 5

Snakes absolutely love laying next to your dog's water bowl!!! If you can, place it up on a cement block, raise it off the ground by several inches. Every single rattlesnake I've caught in my yard was within five feet of our pet's water bowl.

Step 6

Place smaller holed fencing around your yard. The holes should be LESS than 1/4" because you want to keep out rattlesnake babies. About a 1 1/2' high, dig it into the ground at least six inches. You want to prevent the rattlesnake from entering your yard through rodent tunnels underground. Even better is regular fiberglass screen to make sure the babies can't get in.

The cost of taking your pet to the emergency room for a rattlesnake bite can be anywhere in the $1000-2000 range.

Use these preventative measures, then buy your pets the rattlesnake vaccine for $25. While it won't guarantee your pet to go completely unscathed by rattlesnake venom, vets say it protects your dog with 70% less damage.

Tips & Warnings

Rattlesnake babies do MORE damage than adults because they don't limit the amount of venom injected- they put in all in your pet or your leg. The adult rattlesnake divides its venom for first strike use and amount needed to digest its food.

Do NOT think cutting off the head will protect you! I have cut off the head and left two inches of neck and left for the day, thinking it would die. I returned the following day and walked by the rattlesnake head and it turned on its two-inch neck and started hissing at me! Had I not heard that warning hiss, I might have reached down to pick up the head to examine it...then get bit!